The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) can administer an estate when the executor, intestate successor, beneficiary or other eligible person is not able or willing to do so.

The PGT may also agree to be appointed executor in a will in appropriate circumstances.

The PGT does not assist in resolving disputes respecting the administration of estates by private parties nor do we provide advice on how to administer an estate.  

With a Will
When a person dies and leaves a valid will, it is the responsibility of the executor named in the will, to handle funeral arrangements and administer the estate. If the executor is unable or unwilling to act and there is no one else willing and able to administer the estate, (such as an alternate executor or a beneficiary), the PGT may provide this service. The estate is administered and distributed according to the instructions set out in the will. 

Without a Will
The Wills, Estates and Succession Act establishes the people who have a right to administer the estate when a person dies without a will.

If there is no next of kin willing and able to handle this responsibility then the PGT may consider administering the estate after an assessment determines whether our services are warranted. The PGT does not administer estates if the estimated gross value of the estate’s assets are not sufficient to pay funeral costs and PGT fees.

Referrals to Estate and Personal Trust Services
Executors, intestate successors and beneficiaries wanting to refer an estate to PGT Estate and Personal Trust Services are encouraged to contact our office and speak with an Estate and Personal Trust Services Duty Officer prior to submitting a referral. Service providers such as the Coroner's Office, hospitals, health authorities and RCMP wanting to submit a referral can fax the referral directly to 604.660.0964.

To obtain an online referral form for Estate and Personal Trust Services, please click here.

Estates Administered by the PGT
Administering an estate is a lengthy process with many steps. These steps include:

  • Making funeral arrangements,
  • Identifying, securing and dealing with assets,
  • Obtaining court authority,
  • Identifying and paying valid debts and claims against the estate
  • Filing tax returns,
  • Dealing with legal issues that arise, and
  • Identifying, locating and distributing the balance of the estate to the rightful intestate successors and/or beneficiaries.

The PGT aims to provide impartial and professional service during the administration of an estate. Each estate is handled in accordance with established policies and procedures, including strict controls over how assets are secured, evaluated and disposed. Money held by the PGT while administering an estate earns interest. The PGT charges fees and commissions set out in Public Guardian and Trustee Fees Regulation.

Service Commitments
The Estate & Personal Trust Services division has service commitments for important milestones in the administration of estates and a commitment to notify intestate successors and beneficiaries if any of these steps are not able to be completed within the expected timeframe. To review these service commitments, please click on one of the following links: Service Commitments in English
, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian, Chinese Simplified or Chinese Traditional.

Concluding Administration
Upon completion of the administration of the estate, the PGT will send a comprehensive accounting package to the intestate successors or beneficiaries. We will distribute the estate to the intestate successors and beneficiaries within three (3) weeks of receipt of all executed releases and completion of all tax work including the receipt of the final Tax Clearance Certificate.

Intestate successors and beneficiaries may specify a preferred means of payment such as: electronic funds transfer to financial institutions within Canada, wire transfers to financial institutions outside Canada, bank drafts or regular cheques. Before any funds can be deposited to a bank account belonging to an intestate successors or beneficiary, the PGT must receive the completed authorization form. For those with Canadian bank accounts, a copy of the authorization form for an electronic funds transfer (EFT) to a financial institution within Canada can be obtained by clicking one of the following links: EFT English or EFT French.

For those with international bank accounts, a copy of the wire authorization form to international financial institution can be obtained by clicking one of the following links: International Wire Authorization in
English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian, Chinese Simplified or Chinese Traditional.

Naming the PGT as your Executor
The PGT can also be named as the executor in a will. Individuals interested in naming the PGT as executor in their will should contact PGT Estate & Personal Trust Services to inquire about this service prior to executing their will. Please contact the PGT and ask to speak to the EPTS Quality Assurance Manager, or email us at

Our Fees as Executor or Administrator
The PGT charges estate administration fees as set by regulation when acting as an executor or administrator of an estate.

To review the fee schedule as executor for an estate, please
click here.

To review the fee schedule as administrator for an estate, please click on one of the following links: Fee Schedule as an administrator in
English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Ukrainian, Chinese Simplified or Chinese Traditional.

Contact Us

Estate and Personal Trust Services
700-808 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC V6C 3L3
Ph: 604.660.4444
Fax: 604.660.0964
Referral Form - please click here